Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Wow. Apparently modern pirates are "armed with automatic rifles and shoulder-fired rockets." That's not good. Pirates were scary back when they only had cutlasses and muskets. I'm just waiting for the first pirate nuclear power. The fact that they were attacking a North Korean ship indicates they're already working on it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Easy Student Loans = High Tuition

Picture © AdsD der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (via Wikimedia Commons)

Cumulative results [from 1993-2004] are average public tuitions growing 53 percent above inflation, and average private, nonprofit tuitions growing 47 percent above inflation. As of 2004, private, nonprofit colleges cost on average 3.3 times as much as public colleges attended by residents of their states. -Wikipedia (College Tuition)

Inflation is measured as the growth of the money supply in an economy, without a commensurate increase in the supply of goods and services. This results in a rise in the general price level as measured against a standard level of purchasing power. -Wikipedia (Inflation)

The New York Times just announced something most of us under 30 already know: college tuition increases are outpacing the rate of inflation.

I think I understand the reason for this scenario, and it relates directly to the quotes above. I'm not an economist, but I do understand some basic economic concepts like inflation. When cheap, easy money is dumped into an economic system, the cost of goods will go up.

Student loans pump cheap, easy money into students' hands. However, because most lenders cut a check to the school first, which then passes the remaining money to the students, the bulk of the money goes directly to the school. This means inflation hits college costs hardest.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to say that student loans are necessarily bad. However, when my parents went to college, they could pay their way through school by working. Doing this today is practically impossible. Student loans allow many more people to go to college.

Unfortunately, everyone who does so pays substantially more than they used to, even with inflation-adjusted dollars. This hurts those of us who borrowed a lot of money to earn a degree. It absolutely kills people who go for two years, and fail to graduate. And if they went to a private school? Whew.

I pay over $600 per month in student loan payments, and will continue to do so for the next 9 years. And I (mostly) attended public schools, received scholarships, paid in-state tuition at comparatively inexpensive schools, and worked full-time at a high-paying job while I was in college. KU Law School will cost $13,384.30 this year, and it's about as cheap as a Kansas resident can pay. It was something like $8400 when I started 4 years ago.

Check out this graph showing the tuition increases at the University of Kansas over the last 30 years:

Look at the last 3 years. Crazy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trimming the fat

I'm trying to rid myself of needless clutter. I have several items (mostly electronic) gathering dust, and depreciating. Several items on the chopping block I use, but infrequently.

I'm getting rid of them. I have them up on Craigslist right now. If anyone needs some computer related goodies, let me know.

I've found that the less clutter I have, the more relaxed I am. The feeling I get from an uncluttered desk is very empowering. I wish I had the weekend free to take care of it all.

What's next? It'll transform into a jet?

$150. That's twice what I paid for my electric razor, and it's a good one. But hey, it has a flashlight. And vibrates. And a fire extinguisher. And etc.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Which faith-based action figure would you prefer?

This one? Or this one? Considering it's $7 cheaper, the Buddy Christ Bobble-Head gets my money. If you really want the Jesus Messenger of Faith doll, wait for Wal-Mart. They'll have it for $14.95 later this year.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Turkish Star Wars

"You owe it to yourself to see this film!" -Joel Siegel, ABC
"The feel good movie of the year!" -Gene Siskell
"A sure fire Oscar contender!" -Nikita Khrushchev


You stay classy, San Diego

It really is all it's cracked up to be.

Hillary and I went to San Diego for the weekend. We didn't have much time, but it was a great trip. I swam in the ocean for the first time. The weather was amazing both days we were there. Apparently it's like that 95% of the time there. Either of the two days would have been one of the top 3 days in Kansas per year, weather-wise.

I'm seriously thinking of moving there someday. It's a great place. Two thumbs up.